Baskin News Beat - September 2018

Research Roundup

  • Katia Obraczka co-authors book on Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networks (DTNs)

    The book, Delay and Disruption Tolerant Networks: Architecture, Protocols, and Applications, presents the fundamental principles that underlie DTNs, explains the state-of-the-art of DTNs and their architecture, protocols, and applications, and explores DTN’s future technological trends and applications.
    Read more

  • Peter Alvaro and Carlos Maltzahn receive $850,000 NSF grant for their research on data storage

    The project, Declarative Programmable Storage, will involve implementing declarative programmable storage to process large amounts of data and will allow users of distributed storage systems to focus on innovation within their own area of expertise rather than on storage system programming.
    Read more

  • Roberto Manduchi receives $1.1M NIH grant

    The award follows another recent R01 award on which Roberto is a co-investigator. The two grants support research on wayfinding for blind travelers.
    Read more

  • Sara Abrahamsson receives $700,000 NSF MRI grant

    With a grant from NSF, Sara and team will develop a new imaging system for live 3D super-resolution microscopy.
    Read more

  • Two BSOE faculty patents earn campus inventor recognition awards

    A patent by James Davis describes a method for making 3D TVs and movie screens viewable without special glasses, removing the double image visible when a viewer removes his or her glasses.
    View the patent

    Ricardo Sanfelice and Research Assistant Jun Chai invented a single phase DC/AC inverter that solves the problem of robustly converting highly varying DC power into desired AC power.
    View the patent

  • Toshishige Yamada collaborates with UC Davis and others

    Adjunct Professor Toshishige Yamada is collaborating with researchers from UC Davis and former HP and Bellcore scientists for new silicon based photodetectors with nanoholes. 
    Read an early publication here


  • Luca de Alfaro quoted in Science News article

    The article, People are bad at spotting fake news. Can computer programs do better? is about efforts to use artificial intelligence to identify “fake news.”
    Read the article

  • Private donor gives $150,000 in support of iGEM

    A private donor recently met with the UCSC iGEM team and was so impressed with David Bernick’s thoughtful leadership and with the students’ engineering ability and passion that he felt compelled to help fund current and future iGEM teams.
    Learn more

  • Roberto Manduchi wins Best Industry Paper award at the British Machine Vision Conference

    The paper, Automatic Semantic Content Removal by Learning to Neglect, introduces a new system for automatic image content removal and inpainting.
    Read the paper

  • Yu Zhang appointed Associate Editor

    Yu was nominated and appointed to the Conference Editorial Board of IEEE Control Systems Society (CSS) as an Associate Editor in July 2018.

  • Yihsu Chen participates in climate change assessment

    Yihsu is part of a team assembled by Ruth Langridge from Social Sciences to put together the central coastal region report for California’s fourth climate change assessment.

Insider Information

  • Fall 2018 declared SIRs (admitted students who have indicated intent to register)

    1172 First-time freshman: up from 1056 in Fall 2017

    334 Transfer students: up from 307 in Fall 2017
    250 Graduate students: down from 267 in Fall 2017

    The table below shows how our numbers in various categories compare with national averages. 

    BSOE 22%   76%   2%   27%   69%   4%   25%   9%


    23%   77%   N/A   26%   74%   N/A    21%   6%

    * African-American/Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
    Preliminary data September 12, 2018 
    Source:  BSOE data from Data Ware House; national average data from ASEE (2017)

  • New graduate programs move forward in BSOE

    Two new BSOE graduate programs have been approved by the UC Coordinating Council on Graduate Affairs and will start admitting students this year. The Serious Games Professional M.S. program will be hosted in the Computational Media department and offered at the Silicon Valley campus. This five-quarter masters program will train students to develop games whose main goal is not to entertain, but to impact specific, measurable societal goals. The Statistical Science Ph.D./M.S. program will be hosted in the new Department of Statistics. The Ph.D. program will develop analytical and computational skills to build modern statistical models, implement them and communicate their results effectively to experts and non-experts. The M.S. program will emphasize the application of statistical models and methods to the solution of relevant scientific, technological and engineering problems, with the goal of preparing students for a professional career.

    In addition, the interdisciplinary Natural Language Processing Professional M.S. program, which is the result of a collaboration among Computer Science, Linguistics and Psychology faculty, has been approved by UCSC’s Graduate Council and has been submitted for review by the UC Coordinating Council on Graduate Affairs. Once approved, the program will be housed in the new Department of Computer Science and Engineering and offered at the Silicon Valley campus.

Comings and Goings

  • Liz Trask

    Liz has accepted a position with ITS in Scotts Valley. Her last day was July 11. Best of luck, Liz.

  • Hart Hancock

    Hart joined BSOE as the Divisional Liaison/Computer Director on August 13. He comes back to UC Santa Cruz from Cabrillo College where he served as Manager of Technology Services. Before that, Hart was the IT Operations Manager & Senior UNIX Engineer for University of California Observatories at UC Santa Cruz.

  • Kelly Keele

    Kelly Keele is the new Associate Director of Development for BSOE. Kelly joins us from Stanford University, where she has served as Assistant Director of Development Research for the last five years. Kelly will work from the Scotts Valley Center and will be responsible for engaging, cultivating, and soliciting alumni and friends throughout the greater Bay Area in support of Baskin Engineering priorities and opportunities.

  • James McGirk

    James will join the BSOE communications team on September 27. As a content specialist, James will be involved in various forms of communications for the school, both internal and external, helping to raise awareness of our research and education programs. James received a BA in Literature at Columbia University and a Master of Fine Arts in writing, also from Columbia. He has been a lecturer in Tulsa, a freelance writer, a project manager for WikiStrat, and editor and online producer for Columbia Law School's website. James has had bylines in Time and WIRED, among other publications.

  • Thuy Nguyen

    Thuy Nguyen joined the BSOE Academic Affairs team as the new planning and resource analyst. She recently graduated with a Masters of Education from CSU-Fresno in Curriculum and Instruction. Thuy has worked at the Office of Institutional Effectiveness as a research assistant at CSU-Fresno and as a data analyst for a mental health care program focused on children in the Bay Area. She will be providing analytical data support to all departments and units in BSOE related to students, courses, and degrees. 

Student News

  • Paper authored by computer science Ph.D. candidate wins best student paper award

    Computer science Ph.D. candidate Zayd Hammoudeh, along with Dimitris Achlioptas and Panos Theodoropoulos, received the award at the 21st International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing in Oxford, UK. The paper describes a new witness generation algorithm that is faster than current state-of-the-art witness generators by 10 to over 100,000 times.
    Read the paper

  • Undergrad Aviv Elor selected as UGSP Scholar

    Aviv Elor was selected by the Scientific Review Committee of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Undergraduate Scholarship Program (UGSP) as a UGSP Scholar. Elor will be awarded educational and living expenses and employment with NIH.

  • Students in Sara Abrahamsson’s lab get hands-on nanofabrication experience

    The SaraLab kicked off their first summer of research with a lab trip to the UC Santa Barbara nanofabrication facility. Students were trained in nanofabrication methods for making their own diffractive optics devices. Their first optics devices will be installed in a one-of-a-kind prototype 3D imaging system for bioelectronics research.

Goings On

  • Steve Kang collaborates with European researchers

    Sung-Mo (Steve) Kang visited Technical University of München (TUM) for two months under the Alexander von Humboldt Award for Senior U.S. Scientists program and collaborated on research in microelectronics. During the visit he presented an invited talk at TUM and also visited Technical University of Dresden, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne (EPFL) for research collaboration on memristive electronics.

  • Marco Rolandi organizes 3rd Asilomar Bioelectronics Symposium

    Marco organized the 3rd Asilomar Bioelectronics Symposium, held September 11-14.
    Learn more

  • Coursera MOOC on Cyber-physical systems attracts more than a thousand users

    Ricardo Sanfelice’s Cyber-physical Systems: Modeling and Simulation MOOC on Coursera has attracted 1,387 total learners (890 active). 

  • Something different for BSOE

    In the upcoming series Devs, a computer engineer investigates a cutting-edge tech company she believes is behind her boyfriend's disappearance. Part of Devs was filmed in the area around E2 earlier this summer.

Other News

  • BSOE supporter passes away, leaves in place co-op mentoring program

    Randy Russell, USGS IT Manager, passed away on August 26th from a long-term illness. Randy worked with Luca de Alfaro and Frank Howley to set up a "co-op" for supporting and mentoring BSOE students. This summer, four Baskin students worked in the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz. A heartfelt thanks to Randy for his dedication and enthusiasm in working with our students.


  • The Dean’s Transfer Student Welcome will be held on September 26 from 2:30-4:00 pm in the Engineering courtyard. This will be an opportunity for us to meet and interact with our new transfer students in an informal setting with light refreshments. The opportunity to meet faculty will be very exciting for our new students, and I hope you will be able to join us. If you plan to come, please send a note to Andrea Taylor (

Bears Repeating

  • Data science researchers to tackle privacy challenges in genomics

    Abhradeep Guha Thakurta, along with Dimitris Achlioptas and Russ Corbett-Detig, has won NSF funding to investigate ways to protect the privacy of individuals while allowing access to large genomic data sets.
    Read more

  • Peter Alvaro to work with eBay on Lineage-Driven Fault Injection project

    With funding from eBay, UC Santa Cruz professor Peter Alvaro aims to improve the resilience of distributed systems.
    Read more

  • UC Santa Cruz helps address massive data demands from Large Hadron Collider as part of $25 million NSF project

    Computer scientist Carlos Maltzahn will work with Princeton University on an NSF-funded project to establish the Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High Energy Physics.
    Read more

  • Baskin Engineering researchers’ paper on dual detection of Zika virus biomarkers selected Biomedical Optics Express Editor’s Pick

    The recently published paper describes the design and implementation of an optofluidic detection method to identify multiple Zika virus biomarkers.
    Read more

  • Graduate student Juliana Hernandez does research, mentors high schoolers in SaraLab project

    Electrical engineering Ph.D. student Juliana Hernandez is working with Sara Abrahamsson and two high school student interns on a super-resolution microscopy project.
    Read more

  • No evidence of “hobbit” ancestry in genomes of Flores island pygmies

    The pygmy population near the cave where Homo floresiensis fossils were found appears to have evolved short stature independently from the mysterious ancient hominins.
    Read more

  • Devastating events can drive human trafficking, paper shows

    Researchers found an uptick in online ads for sexual services mentioning Jamaican and Caribbean ethnicities following a 2016 hurricane in the Caribbean.
    Read more

  • Baskin fellowship provides funding for student research

    Baskin School of Engineering graduate students Jordan Eizenga and Sutirtha Sengupta receive prestigious Jack Baskin and Peggy Downes-Baskin Fellowship. The fellowship will provide funding for their research in two distinct areas.
    Read more

  • Comic-Con panel features games program director Michael John

    Panelists discussed the upcoming release of a remastered version of the Spyro the Dragon series of videogames, which John worked on 20 years ago as a designer and producer.
    Read more

  • Computer engineer Chen Qian wins NSF CAREER Award

    NSF funding supports Qian's research on new memory-efficient and ultra-fast network algorithms and protocols.
    Read more

  • ISEE receives Presidential Award for excellence in STEM mentoring

    The UC Santa Cruz Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators has received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM).
    Read more

  • Corporate-sponsored projects give engineering students valuable experience

    UC Santa Cruz engineering students presented their senior design projects to mentors and faculty on Tuesday, June 5.
    Read more

  • Students work with NSBE to support minorities at BSOE

    By working with the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Aitanna Parker, Betelhem Tarakegn, and Tolulope Familoni hope to offer support and resources to minority students at BSOE and beyond.
    Read more

  • Graduates mark new era, seek to improve world for all

    More than 3,200 students participated in graduation ceremonies in the colleges, Graduate Division, and Baskin School of Engineering.
    Read more

  • Biomolecular engineer Angela Brooks named Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences

    Brooks will receive a $300,000 award over four years to support her research on how mutations associated with cancer cause changes in gene expression.
    Read more

    Parting Shot 
    This photo from 1985 is of a faculty member who has just retired. Can you guess who it is?